TB - Packing Cube Shoulder Bag... Camera Bag!
I thought I would share my recent camera bag experience for those that may want or need something similar.
For summer, I needed an inconspicuous camera bag to carry my Canon T2i/550d w/15-85 + backup Canon G10 around SE Asia while doing my thesis research. I had several requirements for a camera bag.
- It should to be lightweight.
- I didn’t want something that looks like an obvious camera bag.
- Has to be tight against my body for when on the run - back of motorcycle taxis, hopping in and out of buses/taxis. Also safer in tight spaces.
- No noisy velcro and clanky metal buckles/hinges.
- No flaps, easy access.
- A soft liner, no abrasive nylon.
- And most importantly... the bag’s gotta be looking good enough to pass through the hip metros of Bangkok, while not marking me as a vulnerable rich westerner in the disgruntled southern provinces. (^_^)
I searched far and wide, finally coming to the conclusion that I just needed to be a little creative... or not be so stinking picky ; ) A while back, I purchased the very nice and lightweight Tom Bihn Packing Cube Shoulder Bag in Dynamo Steel, but really hadn’t found much of a use for it since I use the Medium Cafe Bag most of the time. So I decided this would make the perfect shell, now I just needed to find the ideal insert. After searching here and there for several weeks, I found a padded insert that was spot-on perfect for dimensions, and met every-other requirement above. The only problem was that it’s pretty expensive (made in England). Ah, but I got lucky and found a used one off Craigslist, and off I go ✈✈✈✈
The insert is called the Billingham Small Hadley Insert, I’m pretty sure B&H Photo as well as others carry it. The quality is excellent and fit’s into the Tom Bihn PCS Bag like they were made for each other. Overall, I think the combination is a complete success!
Here’s a few photos -
Courierware's camerabags might be an option.
Or, they make a specialized camera bag for photographers, named the Bare Bones Bag (BBB). Google it!
To me, and IMHO only, it stands out. Mind you, I live here (the Philippines), and for almost two years straight. I know what possible in SE Asia, from experience, the hard way. You're already going to stand out as a American, thats a given. But you want high priced camera equipment to 'dissapear'. In some countries, you're going to have a lot of eyes on that bag (what is he carrying? Is it valuable? How much could I sell it for?) and on you. So, being able to carry a non-descript bag that will blend in is pricless. Good luck!
Dave in the Philippines
I've only heard about it, good things though!
Seems like Idaho is being well represented, both by people who live there, and wannabees..Now, I'm stuck in "The Land of the Little People" LOL!
Dave in the Philippines